The maiden Arusha Open Athletics Championships has been postponed indefinitely after the venue in which the event was to be held got submerged in water as El-Nino rains pound Arusha City.
“We have been forced to call off the athletics event because the running tracks in the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium are submerged in rain water,” explained the Secretary of the Arusha Regional Athletics Association (ARAA), Rogath Steven.
The Open Athletics Championships was scheduled to take place in the first two weeks of November 2023, at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in the city.
It was to run under the organization of ARAA in the Northern Zone to feature mostly short distance runners who want to take a break from the usual cross-country marathons.
The Arusha Open Athletics Championships was designed to be a stadium based type of racing specifically tailored to accommodate relay runs in what was being described as track and field events.
It was to feature 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters and 800 meters relay racing, shot put, as well as long-jump events for male and female.
The 5000 meters race was excluded from the event because this segment is being classified as long-distance racing, which is against their mission to deal with only short races.
Many athletes from various regions were to be participating in the Arusha Open Athletics Championships whose target is to identify talents in other sporting events such as Javelin, Shot Put, long and high jumps, relay racing and other games.
“We had been so much used to marathons, it is high time we turn focus to alternative athletics events such as the arena based type of racing,” the ARAA Secretary stated, adding that, they hope that in future all other regions of Tanzania will be inspired to start staging such open athletics championships.
Were it not for the rains, more than 200 athletics from across the country had already confirmed their participation in the open athletics event; this is according to the organizers.
Arusha Open Athletics Championships participants were to come from the host City and Region, Tanga, Songwe, Mara, Simiyu, Mwanza and Mbeya.
Other runners were expected to come from Dodoma, Manyara, Singida, Dar-es-salaam and Kilimanjaro regions.